Poker players “Among us”

How playing ‘Among us’ is almost like playing Poker and why it is good for players?!

Kishore Mokkapati
5 min readJan 14, 2021
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This article is in reference to ‘Among us’ game which is phenomenal in its growth in last one year.

While the game has a great social appeal, one cannot ignore how intelligently designed is this game with minimal aesthetics but many meaningful interactions. Overall, the game would stimulate self doubt, invoke our rationalization abilities and motivate us to sort and rank our choices as players at many instances.

One can also see lot of parallels between ‘Poker’ and ‘Among us’.

Let me outline some of those elements that I could identify as follows…

Opening the game

In Poker, the moment we get the hole cards, we will be in a position to make primary assessment of our chances of where we could be heading to. A player can say how tough the game is going to be when he gets a pocket pairs of Aces versus cards with a distance more than 4.

In ‘Among us’ the moment we are assigned with either sides of ‘crew’ or ‘impostors’, we’ll be able to assess the chances of where we are heading towards. The variability in the case of ‘Among us’ is wider than Poker as it differs from games which has 1,2, or 3 impostors among the crew.

Of course, you can always drop the game of poker if you don’t find interesting cards. Same is in the case of ‘Among us’ as well, some players just leave at the stage of getting declared as a single ‘impostor’ in a 10 member crew.

But, it is important to stay in the game as long as possible to to be able to assess our chances of winning the game of Poker. This is basic strategy of poker. This also means, you need to weigh you chances and spend your bank roll wisely. Even in Among us, we are better off stay in the game and face the thrill of being a one man army.

Playing the game

In ‘Among us’, you have tasks to do as crew member and as an impostor, you have to sabotage the mission and kill all the crew members.

As impostors find all possible ways to behave in urgency and at the same time in-control to sabotage the mission, Impostors always try to catch crew and kill them in silos as much as possible.

Once a crew is killed and some other players find it, they can report the dead-body. Some crew might have seen the killing of a crew member and others may not have seen it.

You are allowed to chat in a window and make your decision on whom to vote out of the game. If you are a crew member, the better you are if you can vote out an ‘impostor’. Instead, we need to call here ‘most probable impostor’.

But, how do you know?

Why do you have to believe a comment from other crew member?

What if it is an impostor planting the false accusation?

What if the impostor themselves had reported the dead body to gain a soft edge from others?

In this case, you bet on your best options/opinions/judgements and clues. Or, best guess. You do this with most trust-able information available to you.


Betting in Poker happens every time the community cards are revealed.

In Poker, one could always ‘check’. But, many players need the ACTION in the game! Because, they feel by a large probability, they must be at advantage (Or otherwise sometimes), and want to see how others are faring in the game and take advantage of it. Betting starts then.

In ‘Among us’ players on Crew side need to finish the tasks at hand before they are sabotaged by impostors, and impostors need to kill enough to break the balance so they win the game. In many instances of ‘Among us’ one does not know who actually killed a crew member. You bet on 1 out of 8 other crew members (1 dead, and other is you). This is the ACTION game itself creates so that players want to enter the voting.

16.66% chance of you being right. How can you increase this chance?

What information you need to bet on so that you don’t evict a genuine crew member and you vote out a real impostor?

Can you trust in what other players are texting in the chat box?

If you don’t have enough information and trust-able information, should you skip voting? Then, will the irrationality among the other crew make them vote for a wrong option and eventually leads to eviction of crew member?

As a player you have following options:

  1. Skip voting (It is like ‘fold’)
  2. Vote (betting → either it is ‘call’ or ‘raise’. You do lot of trusting mechanism in discussion chat so that you get to estimate)

Payoff for voting will be increased/decreased chances of you winning the game.

See how close this is with playing Poker.

Some behavioral observations in Among us:

  • If a player is sneaking around the corners, you find him more probable to be an impostor
  • If a player is waiting and doing nothing you find him to be waiting to kill.
  • If a player is scouting around the task areas and too busy in roaming and not actually doing a task, you doubt him to be an impostor.
  • If a player reports a dead body and you found him around the same place, you most likely assign him to be an impostor. There are chances you are wrong. But, you still assign the great plausibility to earlier option.
  • If Player A motivates other players to vote for Player B saying he sabotaged, after voting you realized Player B is not actually an impostor, players generally assign Player A to be the actual impostor. The other plausibility is Player A might have mistaken the situation for Player B to be the criminal. But, psychologically, players assign more probability to Player A being an impostor.

There are many parallels to this when you are playing poker actually when players ‘bluff’ and not really close to winning.

All the skills you need in Poker to bluff are almost required in ‘Among us’ to be able to navigate above cited situations.

Why is all this good for players?

It is important for us to note that playing poker trains players on the grounds of uncertainty how do we assess our chances of success. This training psychologically changes the way we think about the world when we start anything in our life which involves stakes.

Everyone needs to assess not just risk of doing something, also risk of not doing something. In a game like ‘Among us’, we always tend to cultivate this thought process. Playing Among us, can change the way we look at group interactions, our behavior in groups and how to assess our chances of survival and winning in any social setup.

What can be better in ‘Among us’? Here are my views

Image credit: Poll-and-ball (



Kishore Mokkapati

I’m a believer in power of games to change the world! Building games for 15 years. Strategy, Product Management, & Economics are my other areas of interest.